The Kansas Attorney General’s Office said it has now approved three of the Kansas Lottery’s regulations on sports betting. The new decision follows a prior announcement that the office would be sending back to the lottery several rules that have to do with the definitions, marketing agreements, and advertising revolving around the upcoming industry. Additionally, Lottery officials have reassured Kansans that the date set for sports gaming will be met.
Kansas’ sports betting bill was approved by the state Legislature this spring, after years of debate, and was signed into law by Gov. Kelly in May. Last week, officials announced the state will be launching sports wagering on September 1 through a “soft launch” at noon that day, with an official start set for September 8.
However, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office shortly after said it had identified “significant legal issues” with the regulations proposed by the Kansas Lottery, and that it would be providing formal feedback to the lottery “within days,” giving it the opportunity “to correct the legal deficiencies.” As a specific timeline to address these issues was not provided upon that announcement, the office’s statements brought certain confusion to the process.
But the Kansas Lottery has now quelled concerns about the start date. “This is an ordinary course of business with the Lottery and The Attorney General’s office, and the Lottery is confident that any issues the Attorney General has potentially identified will be worked out very quickly,” Kansas Lottery Public Information Officer Cory Thone said Friday, according to FOX4.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed the sports betting bill into law in May. While it is still unsure which provisions Derek Schmidt’s Office is objecting to, Kansas Reflector Reporter Tim Carpenter said in a recent interview that he does not think any of the issues between the two parties will keep people from being able to bet by September 1. “Certainly, state government is more effective and efficient than that,” Carpenter said.
Legalized gambling would thus be made available in time for the first game of the NFL season, on September 8, with both mobile and retail betting already available on soft launch. Gov. Laura Kelly said casinos in Dodge City, Mulvane, Pittsburg and Kansas City are being granted one-year provisional licenses under temporary rules. Tribal casinos are currently working with state officials on expanded compacts to also launch sports gaming.
“This will drive business to sporting events, casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues – just in time for football season,” Gov. Kelly tweeted last week, after the September launch announcement. The law imposes a 10% state tax on the bets, with a majority of the revenue earmarked for a fund to lure pro sports teams to Kansas.
Ahead of launch, gaming stakeholders have begun releasing their plans for the upcoming market. Last week, Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City announced it has received its Sports Wagering Management Contract approval from the Kansas Lottery. The venue has sports wagering platform agreements with DraftKings and Bally’s Corporation.